Saba Sahar, Actress and Afghanistan's First Female Film Director, Shot as Gunmen Open Fire on Her Car

The women's rights advocate reportedly underwent a successful surgery after being shot in the stomach

saba sahar
Saba Sahar. Photo: facebook

Afghan actress Saba Sahar was reportedly shot in Kabul on Tuesday, landing her in the hospital.

While it was not immediately clear the extent of Sahar's injuries, her husband Emal Zaki told the BBC that three gunmen opened fire on the car she was traveling in on her way to work just five minutes from their house, the outlet reported.

Zaki said that Sahar was one of five people in the vehicle, including the driver, two bodyguards and a child, according to the BBC. It was not clear if the child was one of Sahar's children.

Both bodyguards reportedly also sustained injuries from the shooting, according to BBC.

saba sahar
Saba Sahar. facebook

"I reached the scene and found them all wounded," Zaki told the BBC, adding that it happened so close to home, he could hear the gunshots. "She received first aid and we transferred her to the emergency hospital and then to the police hospital."

Zaki said that Sahar was shot in the stomach and was able to answer the phone when he called her, he told the outlet. He said she later underwent a successful surgery.

In addition to her work as an actress and director, Sahar is a trained police officer and women's rights advocate.

"Afghanistan: The rise in attacks and assassination attempts on human rights defenders, political activists, journalists and film actors is extremely worrying," Amnesty International South Asia said in a tweet on Tuesday, responding to the news of the attack on Sahar.

"These attacks must be investigated and the perpetrators held accountable. The authorities must protect everyone at risk."

Sahar became Afghanistan's first female director with her 2004 film, The Law.

saba sahar
Saba Sahar. facebook

"I want to show that Afghan women are capable of doing anything men do," she said in an interview with The Guardian in 2012.

"I want to show the conservatives who lock their daughters and wives at home that they should let them out to get an education, earn some money and help rebuild Afghanistan," she said, adding that she has received death threats from anonymous phone callers. "They told me to say goodbye to my loved ones because I'd soon be dead."

After reporting the threats to authorities, Sahar said the calls only continued.

"They called me again and asked why I'd gone to the authorities," she said. "They said that even if the whole government is behind you, we will still kill you. We will murder you on the street, in public."

"Every morning when I leave the house, I know I might get killed, might never see my family again," she told The Guardian at the time.

"Making movies is my love," she continued. "I love my country. I want to show people that there's more to Afghanistan than fighting, drugs and terrorism. If I die for asking for my rights and inspiring other women to fight for theirs, then I'm ready to lose my life."

Related Articles